Pritsos to serve on statewide abuse prevention workgroup

Chris Pritsos, chair of the Department of Nutrition at the University of Nevada, Reno and researcher in the area of tobacco abuse and its effects, has been appointed to serve on the Statewide Epidemiological Workgroup.

"I was pleased to be considered to serve on the workgroup," Pritsos said. "This is important work that has a large impact on other agencies and individuals."

The workgroup, a subsidiary branch of Nevada's Substance Abuse and Treatment Agency, combats the causes and effects of substance abuse in Nevada by collecting and analyzing information from various state agencies use to develop programs. "Ultimately, we're trying to understand how widespread a problem is and what its impact may be on the community."

Pritsos has extensive experience in tobacco abuse research, specializing in the effects of environmental tobacco smoke on workers. He has tested air filtration systems designed to mitigate the harmful effects of tobacco smoke. Pritsos has also served as president of the Nevada Tobacco Prevention Coalition. He helped pass the Clean Indoor Air Act of 2007, the Nevada law that prohibits smoking in public places. Pritsos feels his research with tobacco abuse prevention will help the workgroup.

"Each person brings unique skills to the table," Pritsos said. "My role as a scientist enables me to evaluate research from a different perspective." Pritsos said economic and social factors have led the rise of tobacco usage in Nevada. "Unfortunately, Nevada is at the bottom when it comes to health issues such as substance abuse," Pritsos said. "These are areas that need to be addressed. I'm looking forward to doing that."